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Lavender Lemonade

July 22, 2011

I love lemonade.  I mean, really – I LOVE lemonade.  (Don’t believe me?  This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about it here.)  It’s my go-to drink in restaurants (Soda?  Who needs soda?), and I knew I’d found a solid guy when I discovered that it’s Chris’s favorite, too.  Growing up, we had a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard, and every year or two my sisters and I would get it into our heads that we should make lemonade.  Except we didn’t know what we were doing.  Lemonade is just lemon juice, sugar, and water all mixed up, right?  Um, not quite.  We (and our unfortunate parents) had to drink our lemonade while stirring constantly to keep the sugar afloat in order to make the stuff palatable.  Much later, I learned about simple syrup.  Oops.

My parent’s lemon tree is no more, but my lovely grandma keeps me well-supplied from her over-productive tree.  Every few months, I haul home a paper grocery sack full of (free!) juicy Meyer lemons, and set to work freezing zest and juice.  One of my favorite things about summer is drinking cold, sweet-tart homemade lemonade.  Which is great, because it’s really very easy.

Lavender Lemonade

2 Tbs dried lavender buds (try to find culinary grade, or pull it from your own yard, so you’re not getting any nasty chemicals)

1 cup water

2/3 – 1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups lemon juice (The internets say that 4-8 lemons yield one cup of juice.  I’m working from the stash of juice in my freezer, so I have no idea how many lemons I used.  This will also totally depend on the juiciness of your lemons, but you’re probably safe buying 10-12 lemons.)

– Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat to low, add lavender, and allow to barely simmer for about 20 minutes.  Strain out the lavender over a bowl.  Press to remove all liquid from the lavender, and discard the buds.

– Return lavender-infused water to saucepan over low heat.  Stir in sugar; continue stirring until dissolved.  (Note: I use 2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar because I use Meyer lemon juice, which is much sweeter than standard lemons.  If you’re using a different variety of lemon, you’ll likely need to use more sugar.)  (Note the second: if you use raw sugar, which is what is standard in my kitchen, your simple syrup will be rather brown and your lemonade on the murky side.  Still pretty, but murkier.  The picture above is of lemonade made with regular granulated sugar.)

– Combine lemon juice with simple syrup.  This is your cordial, and is much easier to store in the fridge than a big pitcher of finished lemonade.  I keep the cordial in an old glass milk bottle, and mix it with water before serving.

– To serve, combine over ice 1/3 cup of cordial with 2/3 cup of cold water.  Stir, add straw, and enjoy.

Yields 8-9 servings

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2011 11:43 am

    So, when life gave you Chris, you made lemonade?

    • Ashley permalink*
      July 22, 2011 11:45 am

      Hahahaha! Yes, I suppose I did! Now, wouldn’t that be an awesome thing to advertise at our wedding someday?

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